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Major Gifts Priorities

Defining Our Campus - Instructional Spaces - Student Life Spaces

Morgan Park Academy is in an exciting time of growth and evolution. While we hold onto what makes us a strong community – excellent teachers, small class sizes, and a vibrantly diverse student body – we are also looking carefully at how we look and feel as a 21st century school. We are looking into the future of learning, and designing spaces both in classrooms and outside on the campus, to ensure that our spaces are modern, ergonomic, and environmentally responsible.

Alumni, parents, and friends of MPA will see a number of giving opportunities at this stage of our development, divided into three priority categories of Defining our Campus, Instructional Spaces, and Student Life Spaces. Many of them are naming opportunities as well, giving our donors a lasting recognition of their gift. You will see many “front burner” projects; by no means is this an exhaustive list, but more of a primer of how potential donors can make a lasting mark on our campus, and in the daily lives of students and teachers.

We welcome you to peruse these major gift priorities, and hope that they inspire you to participate meaningfully in the look and feel of the new Morgan Park Academy.

Please contact Vincent Hermosilla (email) with any questions.

111th Streetscape Main Entrance

Designs for the Arts Center exterior address safety concerns for students while drawing greater attention to the MPA campus, thereby elevating our profile in the community. Features of the proposed 111th Street frontage include a new drop-off circle, improving safety, and providing a more fitting arrival zone; a more obvious drop-off lane in front of the building for student delivery; an extension of the portico in the gothic style of the current portico area, providing additional coverage for students awaiting pick-up; visitor parking to the east and west of the building; masonry pillars marking the east and west entry into campus parking; decorative wrought-iron fencing delineating the campus; new lighting; landscaping; and decorative banners.

Naming opportunities:
The [NAME] Center for the Arts
The [NAME] Gates

Dining Hall

Stage 1 Completed

The Dining Hall is among our most frequented campus spaces, providing a place for: breakfast and lunch for students, faculty, and staff; study and recreation before, during, and after school; student, parent, and alumni meetings; community events, including our Annual Fund Gala; and rentals for wedding receptions and large parties. Exterior restoration would include replacing the slate roof and flashing, tuck pointing, and water damage prevention and repair. The interior would be fully restored, including a new cove ceiling with flush-mounted pot lights on dimmers, chandelier lighting, energy-efficient central air-conditioning, energy-efficient windows and wood sash restoration, refinished floors and newly painted walls. Technology would be installed, including a drop-down screen with overhead mounted projecting capability, a state-of-the-art sound system, and drop-down staging. Also, we would partner with a food service vendor to provide organic produce in a more attractive, collegiate-style food court atmosphere.

Naming opportunities:
[NAME] Dining Hall
[NAME] Hall

Tennis Center

We would like to expand the tennis courts to be a featured benefit of the athletic complex, which also encompasses the Fieldhouse and baseball, softball, and soccer fields. The existing tennis courts would be resurfaced with the addition of a fifth court, new fencing, nets, and lighting. A promenade will provide spectator seating as well as a sheltered seating area for players.

Naming opportunities:
The [NAME] Tennis Center
The [NAME] Family Tennis Complex

Gymnasium Forecourt

Completed: Summer 2013

The Gymnasium Forecourt is the outdoor gateway to the Fieldhouse, which provides an elegant community gathering center. Phase 1 of the project included the installation of an Alumni Athletic Walk of Fame, concrete walkways and attractive landscaping. Later, we added a formal entranceway with masonry, additional seating, and a flag pole incorporated as part of the spirit circle landscaping. The new Warriors Circle was a gift of the Crist family.

Gallery Classrooms

The Gallery is one of the largest spaces in the Arts Center, home to: performing arts classes, including music and drama, during the school day; after school rehearsal space for school productions; and rental space for community arts organizations. Retrofitting this space to meet the needs of these diverse programs would include: creating a ceiling to close off the second floor balcony; storage for equipment such as musical instruments; a new lighting system, sound system, and recording capabilities; as well as the installation of hardwood floors.

A state-of-the-art room divider will separate the room, providing two multipurpose spaces and creating one large studio space above.

Naming opportunities:
There are three potential named spaces in this area.

Arts Center Concourse

The Arts Center concourse is a popular student space and reception area for many school- and community-wide gatherings. We recently refurnished the Arts Center, converting it to a more comfortable space for students to socialize and study together during and after school hours. A new skylight would open up the south side of the concourse, with modern cut-away railings on the second floor. We would like to further enhance the concourse with new lighting, a sound system, a stage area and coffee bar for coffee house-style performances, plus new windows and entry doors on the north side.

Naming opportunities:
The [NAME] Concourse

Outdoor Classroom

On a little-used, three-quarter acre of our property on the west end of campus, we propose a natural outdoor classroom. This space will be used for orientations, team-building activities, health and wellness classes, physical education activities, and community gatherings. It will feature native stone and local prairie grasses, and some signature elements of the Prairie School of landscape design of Jens Jensen. Features would include a council circle with a fire pit, an area for a rain garden, a butterfly garden, a bird sanctuary, a reading garden, a freshwater pond to study aquatic ecology, and low ropes elements.

Outdoor Council Ring

The Council Ring was the signature piece in many gardens designed by Jens Jensen, a Midwestern garden designer/landscape architect in Chicago in the early to mid-1900’s who collaborated with Frank Lloyd Wright and began the Prairie School of landscape design. His landscape master plan for our school circa 1923 featured such a council ring, which we now aspire to build.

Naming opportunities:
The [NAME] Outdoor Classroom

Art Studio Classroom

Currently there are three art studios housed within the Arts Center. The intent is to renovate each studio with specialty furniture, art supplies and equipment, storage space, washing stations, new lighting, and technology appropriate for the curriculum of all three school divisions. A new skylight, windows and shades, flooring, art storage drawers and freshly painted walls would provide a user-friendly and modern studio atmosphere for Academy students.

Naming opportunities:
The [NAME] Studio

Preschool Classroom

Our earliest learners are welcomed to a unique learning space which includes new windows, flooring, ceiling and lighting, SMART technology, a reading loft, areas for wet and dry work, house play as well as circle time and activity stations.

Naming opportunities:
The [NAME] Early Learning Center

Classrooms of the Future

New windows, ceiling, lighting, SMART technology and new furniture are the main features of the classroom of the future Academy. The design capitalizes on the size and shape of each room to maximize student interaction, based on Harkness rooms, which were first used widely and successfully at Phillips Exeter Academy.

This room was made possible thanks to the generosity of the [NAME] Family.

Hansen Hall Foyer

Completed: Spring 2013

As the school's main entrance, the Hansen Hall Foyer is a welcome center for the community. Renovations included opening the wall to existing office space, reworking an office suite for the receptionist, new furniture for the waiting area, new lighting, and new flooring.

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